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May 2020
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Need to find a way to outlast Pujara in summer series: Cummins        La Liga can resume week of June 8 - Spanish Prime Minister        Extend loan automatically to all eligible borrowers without fear of 3Cs: FM to banks        Will try to restart international flights before August: Puri        Iran warns US not to interfere with Venezuela oil shipment        Sri Lanka to ease coronavirus restrictions from May 26        Coronavirus cases cross 10,000-mark in Ahmedabad, 24 deaths        Amphan toll rises to 85 in Bengal; protests over electricity, water supply        Prisoners aged above 60 to be released on emergency parole to decongest jail in Delhi        Record jump in COVID-19 cases, 137 more deaths        Bryant items fetch premium prices, Trout card sets record        Baseball players respond to MLB on virus protocols        RBI extends moratorium on loans for another 3 months till Aug        Sensex, Nifty turn choppy; RIL jumps on KKR deal        Quarantine must for domestic air travellers: Kerala govt        At least 57 killed in Pakistan passenger plane crash in Karachi        China introduces new security bill in parliament to tighten controls over Hong Kong        Trump lashes out at scientists whose findings contradict him        COVID-19 death toll climbs to 3,583 in India        Pak troops shell LoC areas in twin sectors of Poonch, Rajouri        
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Sports News
Let the action begin: Mighty India face low on confidence South Africa
 
Southampton: Virat Kohli will embark on the most defining journey of his international career, carrying the hopes of more than a billion when he leads India against an injury-hit South Africa in their World Cup opener here Wednesday. Kohli is one of the best batsmen of this era but this edition of the World Cup will define his legacy as a leader, an aspect on which the jury is still out despite some heady achievements in the Test arena. The current team does have potent match-winners with the skipper himself being the biggest of them all but it still misses the aura, the ''class of 2011'' under Mahendra Singh Dhoni had.

Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh were in a different league with the support cast comprising Munaf Patel, Ashish Nehra, Suresh Raina and a young Kohli. But this team, led by Kohli and mentored by Dhoni, has had its share of good results and six wins in nine games would ensure a smooth passage into the semi-finals. Two years of investment has gone into building a potent ODI squad, something that started right after the 2017 Champions Trophy final loss against Pakistan.

The ''Men In Blue'' have had adequate rest. All other teams have already played two games each and they can''t wait to kick-start their campaign with a commanding performance. The first match in a tournament of such vast magnitude is always important and South Africa''s confidence will be at its lowest following back-to-back defeats against England and Bangladesh. To make matters worse, senior speedster Dale Steyn has been ruled out of the tournament due to a shoulder injury and has been replaced by left-arm seamer Beuran Hendricks. Fast bowler Lungi Ngidi is also out for at least tomorrow''s game with a hamstring strain. Hashim Amla got a nasty hit on the helmet off Jofra Archer''s short ball against England in the opening game. The clash couldn''t possibly have been more well-timed as India have a chance to hold the Proteas by the scruff of their neck when they are seemingly at their weakest.

However, a cornered opponent is always a dangerous proposition and head coach Ravi Shastri, a shrewd tactician by all means, will be surely making the players aware of the consequences of taking their foot off the pedal. The pitch at the Ageas Bowl stadium in Southampton, devoid of grass cover, is expected to be a batting-friendly but Kohli will have a few points to ponder upon as the weather forecast on match day indicates cloud cover with intermittent shower. Will a third seamer in Bhuvneshwar Kumar come into the picture? Does Ravindra Jadeja''s warm-up matches'' form get more credence than Kuldeep Yadav-Yuzvendra Chahal''s 22-month show in tandem? Does Kedar Jadhav fit in without playing a single game for a month or Vijay Shankar gets a look in? These are some of the pressing questions that skipper Kohli needs to address going into the first game.

There''s no doubt that the Proteas are badly hit by poor form and injuries but it may just take one fiery spell from Kagiso Rabada to straighten things up. A bit of help from the weather conditions with his scorching pace and ability to move the ball, Rabada could just unsettle the opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, who haven''t had the best of times during the past few months. Both are capable of turning the match on its head but they could be short on confidence due to lack of runs since the start of the away ODIs against Australia. Rohit''s apparent weakness against leg-spinners could be exploited by rival captain Faf du Plessis, who can again think of giving the new ball to Imran Tahir. KL Rahul is expected to take the No. 4 slot but it needs to be seen as to how well he performs when the condition are nippy. Dhoni at No 5 will be the stabilising factor and if he bats like the Bangladesh warm-up game, he can be a nightmare for the Proteas attack.

But what will be a bigger worry for Du Plessis will be the batting where AB de Villiers'' absence has surely had an impact. The poor technique of Proteas batsmen against slow bowlers have been time and again exposed and 20 overs of quality spin bowling could be too hot to handle for the South Africans. In all, it''s advantage India at Southampton. Teams (from): India: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, K L Rahul, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja South Africa: Faf du Plessis (captain), Quinton de Kock (wk), Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, David Miller, Beuran Hendricks , Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pertorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamshi, Imran Tahir, Lungi Ngidi, Chris Morris, Rassie van der Dussen. Match Starts: 3 pm IST.


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La Liga can resume week of June 8 - Spanish Prime Minister
Bryant items fetch premium prices, Trout card sets record
Baseball players respond to MLB on virus protocols
Gambhir picks Tendulkar over Kohli in ODIs; considers longitivity, rule changes
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All league teams cleared to start group training in Spain
Former Pakistan Spinner Danish Kaneria Blames Shahid Afridi For Ruining His ODI Career
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Ganguly has leadership abilities to run ICC in future: David Gower
Mourinho 'desperate' for Premier League return
Sachin Tendulkar settles lawsuit against bat manufacturers Spartan, Aussie company apologises
KERALA NEWS
Quarantine must for domestic air travellers: Kerala govt
 Thiruvananthapuram: Domestic flyers arriving in Kerala must undergo strict home quarantine as per th  
12 fresh COVID-19 cases in Kerala, total rises to 642
Central financial package lacks public healthcare initiatives: Kerala CM
29 fresh cases in Kerala; Over 67,000 under observation
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Iran warns US not to interfere with Venezuela oil shipment
 Tehran: Iran's president on Saturday warned the United States not to interfere with a shipment of oi
Sri Lanka to ease coronavirus restrictions from May 26
At least 57 killed in Pakistan passenger plane crash in Karachi
China introduces new security bill in parliament to tighten controls over Hong Kong
NATIONAL NEWS
Coronavirus cases cross 10,000-mark in Ahmedabad, 24 deaths
 Ahmedabad: Coronavirus cases in Ahmedabad crossed the 10,000-mark and rose to 10,001 after 277 new p
Amphan toll rises to 85 in Bengal; protests over electricity, water supply
Prisoners aged above 60 to be released on emergency parole to decongest jail in Delhi
COVID-19 death toll climbs to 3,583 in India
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